Create a livable, functional space your family and friends will enjoy.

Dark and dreary basements often end up being square footage you pay for but rarely use. However, with some careful planning, you can transform your basement into a space where everyone will want to gather and hang out.


Secure the Food Situation
Nothing gets everyone in the same place more quickly than a tasty treat. While you are not going to install a second kitchen in your basement, a kitchenette provides you easy access to a wide variety of snacks your entire family will love. Plus, it helps make party cleanup a breeze. Make sure your small food-prep and clean-up station has all the necessary tools with this checklist:

  • Large Sink – Makes rinsing everything from big party platters to small children a breeze.
  • Garbage Disposal – This is a lifesaver, especially for those times you host Super Bowl. With a few liquid libations, guests (aka the hubby) sometimes get a little careless with what ends up in the sink.
  • Refrigerator – A must have for keeping drinks cold and snacks ready to go.
  • Microwave – Popcorn. Do we need to say anything else?

Basement BathroomsGet the Bathroom Under Control
Traipsing upstairs for a trip to the loo is a complete Debby Downer. Make sure your basement has a bathroom with easy to clean surfaces.

To make the room even more functional, install a shower. This will allow you to easily cleanup kids who might get a little dirty. It will also make your basement a guest-room stand-in for parents who come for the weekend or your old college roommate who decides to visit.


Provide Plentiful Seating
If your basement is going to be a place your family and friends want to spend time, seating needs to be plentiful and comfortable. Large chairs and overstuffed couches are nice. You should definitely incorporate them as much as space will allow. But, they take up a lot of room.

To add additional space-friendly seating, incorporate multiple throw pillows and blankets into your room. This will ensure guests who might curl up on the floor are comfortable and cozy.


Give Yourself Plenty of Storage
Basements have a tendency to become a bit of a storage mine-field. So, plan ahead. When you’re creating your basement, install a large floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with deep shelving. This is an ideal space for slipping totes of Christmas decorations, winter clothes, and camping gear.

Additionally, consider a coffee table or ottoman that has built in storage, such as drawers or a hidden compartment.


Brighten Up The Space
Basements are typically dark and dreary. That hardly makes for an inviting space. Brighten things up. Paint the walls a warm color such as cream or light yellow. Avoid dark floors like black tile. Opt instead for a light colored carpet, like beige. And, be sure to incorporate plenty of lights. These can include canned lights, lamps, and decorative string lights. This is one time when more really is more!


Stock Up On The Games
If you have the space, a Ping-Pong table or pool table will make your home the go-to house for all your kid’s friends. But regardless, make sure to stock up on some great games. Use these suggestions to help you start your collection:

  • Apples to Apples
  • Monopoly
  • Uno
  • Pictionary
  • Sorry
  • Backgammon
  • Loaded Questions
  • Balderdash
  • Say Anything

Remember, these are just suggestions. There are hundreds of games out there. Having a wide variety from which to choose will ensure the party never ends!


Create TV Central
While you don’t want the TV to be the only source of entertainment, it’s certainly a big draw. Because what would movie night or the big game be without a TV?

Ideally, you want a large enough screen that everyone can see what’s going on. This doesn’t mean bigger is automatically better. Evaluate your basement. Consider what size the space can accommodate. In most cases anything from a 40-inch to a 60-inch will work.

NOTE: When you’re hosting a big sports themed party – think March Madness, Major League Baseball Playoffs or Sunday Football – multiple screens will earn you big brownie points. Play the main game on the big screen and set up small screens to one side. You’ll avoid any disagreements about which game you should watch and ease the nerves of all your friends with fantasy teams.